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Australia 'advanced' in finding general manager

Brydon Coverdale

September 7, 2011

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Tim Nielsen at Australia's training camp at the Centre of Excellence, Brisbane, July 4, 2011
James Sutherland wants Tim Nielsen (pictured) to be "a front-line applicant" for the new head coaching role © Getty Images
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Cricket Australia's chief executive James Sutherland is confident that the new general manager of team performance will be appointed before Australia's tour of South Africa next month. The creation of the new job was one of the key recommendations from the Argus review, and only after that position is finalised will CA move on to filling the coaching and selection roles.

However, there is no guarantee the new general manager will have started the job before the squads for the South African series are selected. That could mean the touring party will be picked by Andrew Hilditch, Greg Chappell, Jamie Cox and the captain Michael Clarke and coach Tim Nielsen, who form the interim selection panel.

"We're significantly advanced in consideration of the general manager role," Sutherland said in Melbourne on Wednesday. "Our priority is to identify and recruit a general manager to fulfil that important role of looking after the Australian team performance. Once that person is identified and appointed then the review of other positions and the appointment of other positions will flow very quickly from that.

"I'd like to think it was a matter of weeks [not months] before we make an appointment and then it will depend on what job that person is doing at this time, and how quickly they may be able to make that transition. I'm certainly very confident that we'll have an appointment before [the South Africa tour]."

The Australians will depart for South Africa early next month before the first Twenty20 on October 13. However, the first Test is not until November, which gives Cricket Australia a little extra breathing space while they recruit selectors and decide on the head coach, a position that will involve more wide-ranging responsibilities than Nielsen currently holds.

And while the early indications were that Cricket Australia would look elsewhere to find the new coach, Sutherland was impressed by the way Nielsen handled the release of the Argus review. He said he hoped Nielsen would throw his hat in the ring for the coaching job.

"I was in Sri Lanka a week or so ago and met with Tim," Sutherland said. "It's really for Tim to talk about what he wants to do but what I made clear to him at the time is that we're very keen for him to be a front-line applicant for the job and I don't see any reason why he can't be."

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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Posted by Barnesy4444 on (September 9, 2011, 7:33 GMT)

As long as Rod Marsh is chairman of selectors and he has a large say in who his deputy selectors are, really, that's the main thing.

Posted by onlinegamer55 on (September 9, 2011, 6:52 GMT)

I'd like to see the following selection panel: Steve Waugh (Chairman of Selectors), Mark Taylor (part-time selector), Alan Border (part-time selector), Michael Clarke (captain), Justin Langer (Head Coach). (I actually don't know any other names for possibilities of head coach but I'd rather not see Tim Nielson near the Australian cricket team from now on ... Justin Langer is the batting coach, I know, but I think he could be a good choice for head coach. If anyone knows any better names, then I would be interested to hear them.) I think Steve Waugh is the right man to select the Australian cricket team. He has patience, he is going to give young players an extended run in the national set-up because he himself didn't perform immediately, and I am confident he will have good communication with the players regarding their selection status both inside and outside the cricket team. He is an honest guy. Ditto for Mark Taylor. I'd like to see them in the selection panel.

Posted by Behind_the_bowlers_arm on (September 8, 2011, 20:17 GMT)

How does this general manager role fit in alongside a coach and the chairman of selectors exactly? Agree that the fresh start should see Sutherland & Nielsen disappear alongside Hilditch. I would also like to see a lucrative offer made to Andy Flower to jump ship and become Australian coach. Even if he doesnt accept it would require England to offer him a new matching contract i imagine.

Posted by hyclass on (September 8, 2011, 7:19 GMT)

@RandyOz...add Nielsen and Sutherland to that list and i will be happy. @sifter132...right on the money.

Posted by RandyOZ on (September 8, 2011, 3:15 GMT)

Hilditch and Chappel need to be removed from selection URGENTLY.These two guys have lost touch and simply need to be shown the door. Get your act together CA.

Posted by Ben1989 on (September 7, 2011, 12:42 GMT)

Nielsen did take the review fairly professional & I don't think he's done a lot of bad things to Australian cricket compared to Hilditch, Chappel etc. but I really think we need a fresh start & these comments 're. front line applicant' really aren't too appealing to me, as it sounds like they're already leaning towards him... only time will tell I guess....

Posted by Midnight_Blues on (September 7, 2011, 10:05 GMT)

John Howard in the midst? if he is good enough for the nomination of an ICC post, surely he must be for this.

Posted by sifter132 on (September 7, 2011, 9:10 GMT)

Good on ya Brydon - just saw you on Letters and Numbers. Enunciate for the win :)

And I'm suspicious of the Sutherland/Nielsen man-love that's going on. Of course Sutherland wants to imply Nielsen's a good option - because Sutherland hired him in the first place!

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Brydon CoverdaleClose
Brydon Coverdale Assistant Editor Possibly the only person to win a headline-writing award for a title with the word "heifers" in it, Brydon decided agricultural journalism wasn't for him when he took up his position with ESPNcricinfo in Melbourne. His cricketing career peaked with an unbeaten 85 in the seconds for a small team in rural Victoria on a day when they could not scrounge up 11 players and Brydon, tragically, ran out of partners to help him reach his century. He is also a compulsive TV game-show contestant and has appeared on half a dozen shows in Australia.
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